Sweden to return ancient Andean textiles to Peru

A unique collection of ancient Andean textiles will soon return to Peru, more than 80 years after they were smuggled out of the country to end up in Gothenburg city, Sweden.

Sweden to return ancient Andean textiles to Peru
Textiles of Paracas to be returned by Sweden [Credit: Difusión]
The looted antiquities — brilliantly colored burial shrouds from an Andean civilization that flourished a thousand years before Columbus — are returning to Peru for a ceremonial handover in Lima.

According to Peru’s vice minister of cultural patrimony, Luis Jaime Castillo Butters, the mayor of Gothenburg is delivering four of them on June 18.

One is a woven mummy’s cloak, about 40 by 60 centimeters, with tiles of animals that appear to signify time periods or the seasons.

The 89 embroidered textiles, named for the Paracas peninsula where they were unearthed around 1930 and then smuggled out by the Swedish consul, were displayed at the National Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg.

Sweden to return ancient Andean textiles to Peru
Detail from one the ancient Paracas textiles to be returned by Sweden [Credit: Andina]
Gothenburg has never disagreed that the almost 3000-year-old textiles were “illegally exported” and has made arrangements with Peru for their return, the New York Times reported.

Because the textiles are extremely fragile and require delicate handling, the last pieces from Sweden won’t arrive until 2021, Mr. Castillo Butters said.

He said their cultural and monetary value exceeded that of the thousands of antiquities from Machu Picchu that Yale excavated for research a century ago and returned in 2011 and 2012.

The head of conservation of the National Museum of World Culture, Lars-Erik Barkman, referred questions about the repatriation to the city of Gothenburg. But he said, “the objects belong to the world.”

Source: Andina [June 05, 2014]

Posted by TANN on 4:30 PM. Filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

0 comments for Sweden to return ancient Andean textiles to Peru

Leave comment

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

.

.

Designed by SimplexDesign 2010. All Rights Reserved.